Home-repair startup Thumbtack raises $125 million

Thumbtack, a private San Francisco-based startup that helps pair up homeowners with professionals to help them with in-home projects, just announced it has raised $125 million in funding from VC blue-bloods that include Tiger Global, Google Capital and Sequoia Capital.

The company, which has also lent a growing voice in Washington on behalf of small businesses, competes with better-known players such as Yelp and Angie’s List in all 50 states. And it’s on something of a roll: Thumbtack has enjoyed 10 times growth since 2013 for both ends of its business-model equation: the contractors, remodelers, plumbers and carpenters on one side and the frustrated, haggard, big-dreaming homeowner on the other.

Co-founder and CEO Marco  blogged about the funding here on the company’s Thumbtack Journal,  starting with this intriguing headline:

Building Thumbtack: Six Years, Forty-two Rejections, and a Singular Obsession With Solving One Big Problem

The back story is a good one:

A few years ago, Thumbtack was just a handful of people working out of a rented house. We were excitedly chasing a dream without any pay, my co-founder was sleeping in a closet, and there was this constant existential fear of running out of money.

We were determined. We wanted to make hiring a plumber as easy as buying a book online and we weren’t going to take “no” for an answer. Well, at least not the final answer.

When we attempted to raise our Series A in Fall of 2011, we got rejected—not once, not twice, but 42 times!

Check out this 2009 photo of Thumbtack’s hard-working crew:

 

Early days

 

And now . . .

Fast-forward to today: we’re announcing a $125 million investment on top of last year’s round of funding, which we’ve barely touched. Our feelings range fromholy-shit-what?! to sincere gratitude. We not only survived, but have a pretty well-stocked war chest to keep building toward this audacious goal.

It’s a fun read, replete with the slings and arrows that greet many a Silicon Valley startup these days, and I suggest you check it out.

It concludes with this:

What if every electrician, caterer, and piano teacher could stop worrying about the constant hunt for new clients—if pros could just focus on what they love to do. And what if everyone had shorter to-do lists and could spend more time on the important things: their families, their passions, their happiness.

Those what-ifs are why we get up in the morning. That’s the world we’re excited to build.

Not a bad entrepreneurial dream to have.

Credit: Thumbtack

 

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